How long it takes to find a job in Canada right now

If you’re between gigs and looking for work, here’s how long it should take you to line up a new job in Canada in 2017.

Apparently, despite the national unemployment rate falling to its lowest level since before the recession, it’s taking unemployed people longer to find a job in 2017 than it did in the previous few years.

Those are the findings from a new report that was released this week by the team at Express Employment Professionals. Their results show that the average amount of time that unemployed Canadian adults had been out of work was 17.9 months – or just about a year and a half. That is nearly six months longer than the length of unemployment found in a similar study back in 2012.

How long have you been unemployed (average in months)?

    2017 – 17.9
    2016 – 15.9
    2015 – 14
    2014 – 12.6

A year and a half – or even a year – sounds like a long time to be looking for a job. For their data, the Express Employment team surveyed 1756 Canadian adults aged 18 or older who are unemployed but capable of working. The survey did not indicate how much they were actively looking for a job. Fifty-five prevent of them reported not having been to an interview in the past month.

Statistics Canada paints a rosier picture. Their report on the duration of unemployment includes data only from those people who are actively seeking work. According to their most recent findings, the average period of unemployment for Canadians was 17.8 weeks. That’s just over four months, which sounds much more reasonable.

For job seekers in the 45-years-old and older category, the average period of unemployment is longer, at 26 weeks. However, this group has a much lower than average unemployment rate.

It takes an average of 19.7 weeks for unemployed candidates between 25 and 44 years of age to find a job.

Of course, these averages are across regions, so your individual experience may vary widely depending on where you live. In Ontario, for example, the current average period of unemployment is roughly 20 weeks, which is down from 22 weeks back in 2012.

You can consult the chart for provincial data here.

These numbers could serve as an indicator that if you find yourself out of work for much longer than the average period of time, perhaps you need to consider changing sectors, acquiring new skills, or adopting a new job search strategy.

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